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Scathing report criticises management of Australian Hunter-class frigate programme

11th May 2023 - 11:30 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Christchurch


The Hunter class will be an extremely capable warship, but few major Australian procurement projects start smoothly. (Image: RAN)

The fate of the Hunter-class frigate programme rests with a naval review due later this year, but in the meantime, a new auditor's report exposes numerous project management failings.

On 10 May, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) released a 114-page report containing sharp criticism of how the Department of Defence has managed the Hunter-class frigate programme.

While the ANAO said Defence’s management has been ‘partly effective’, it criticised the organisation. ‘Defence’s procurement process and related advisory processes lacked a value for money focus, and key records, including the rationale for the procurement approach, were not retained.’

Key findings related to the cost of the programme and schedule delays. In July 2020, Project Sea 5000 Phase 1 for nine frigates was valued at A$45.6 billion ($31.5 billion). ‘Contract

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Gordon Arthur


Gordon Arthur

Gordon Arthur was the Asia Pacific editor for Shephard Media. Born in Scotland and educated …

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